Before Tuesday, the Myrtle Beach boys soccer team had taken the last six contests against Socastee.
Make that seven.
The Seahawks received a big goal from Mason Lewis right before halftime, the teams played through a stalemate in the second half, and Myrtle Beach’s Arly Barr scored the game-winning goal in the second penalty kick frame for a 6-5 win over the Braves.
Seahawks coach Jason Himmelsbach had a simple approach for his squad in the penalty kick frames.
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“I just said, ‘walk up to the ball confidently, and put it in the back of the net,’ ” he said. “If I said more than that – you don’t want to start thinking at that point, you just want to go up and execute. Do what you practice, do what you were taught and do what you’ve done since you were 5 or 6 years old and just put the ball in the back of the net.”
Barr did just that. And goalkeeper Anthony Silvestri made an excellent save on a Wesley DuRant penalty kick to boost Myrtle Beach.
“I can’t believe we pulled it off. I feel great,” Silvestri said. “… Our defense is very strong, midfield comes right behind that and our strikers finish it off. Just an unbelievable team, I’m so glad I’m a part of it. Myrtle Beach High School, I love it.”
Said Himmelsbach: “I thought we played OK in tonight’s game … We just managed to hang in there and getting that goal right before halftime was a big difference-maker. Both teams battled it out to the last kicker in the penalty kicks.
“I’m just fortunate my keeper made a professional-level save on that last one.”
The third-ranked Seahawks gained a bunch of momentum by taking down a tough Socastee squad that is ranked No. 1 in Class AAA.
“It was a huge win tonight,” Himmelsbach said. “The No. 1 team in the state and the No. 3 team in the state. It was about as classic of a battle and it went down to the wire. If you drew up a script for this and made a movie about it, I don’t think it could come out much more better for us than that.”
DuRant scored an early goal in the 10th minute for Socastee. The Braves had a strong chance to win the game near the end of the second overtime. David Debus broke away in the final seconds, but Silvestri made an excellent save to keep the Seahawks alive.
“Honestly, either team could have one this game. We’re very happy and fortunate it was us, but it was just a dogfight of battle,” Himmelsbach said. “I know I sound like a broken record – saying this year-after-year – but I’m fortunate my guys did show a lot of composure in the penalty kick frame and those are a lot harder than they look from the stands or on television. There’s a lot of pressure on you and I’m real pleased with the poise and composure they showed down the stretch.”